A feature in which I tell you about my book-related media consumption in a conspicuous manner.
I’ve been driving for about seven years now, and I’ve wasted so much time listening to the radio.
It took me more than five years to realize I could borrow audio books from the library. That was great and all, but I’m trying to cut back on reading this year, so rather than go back to terrible radio commercials, I finally figured out podcasts.
If you are thinking “what is there to figure out?” please remember I am old and that those audio books I listened to were on CD. Anyway, here’s what I needed:
- Android app: Pocket Casts
- Speaker (Not affiliate, just a tip so you don’t have to go through two duds like I did)
- Some good podcasts. See below.
The must listens
Overdue: I love this concept: each week, one of the hosts reads a book that “you should have read by now” and explains it to the other. These guys are funny and take the books just seriously enough, which is to say, not terribly. I enjoy the episodes about books I’ve read more than those about books I haven’t, but, you can definitely still enjoy an episode without reading the book. That’s kind of the point.
Try this episode: Peter Pan
Writereads: Yes, I am a frequent guest host, but hear me out! CanLit is woefully under served in the literary podcast world, and Writeread’s monthly themes ensure there’s something for everybody. Writereads is a book club, so you really should read the book before listening to the podcast, but when I haven’t, I just listen to the first portion in which Kirt and Tania talk about their current reads and CanLit happenings.
Can’t Lit: Besides having the best name, Can’t Lit fills in a very specific niche by interviewing Canadian writers with a heavy focus on poets. No stuffy pretentiousness here, the interviews are offbeat and funny. No need to do the reading, though you’ll probably want to read all the author’s stuff afterward.
Try this episode: Michael Christie
Backlisted: British writers John Mitchinson and Andy Miller (also an excellent Twitter-er at @) resurrect a forgotten backlist title every two weeks and it doesn’t matter if you’ve never read it, or heard of the author, or even intend to read it, the discussion is fascinating. I do hope to read one of the backlisted titles one day, and might start with this one:
Try this episode: Good Morning Midnight
Hidden Histories: This six-episode series is over, but it’s worth going back and listening. The topic at hand is “the great forgetting” of British female authors prior to Austen. I’d heard of Frances Burney and Mary Wollstonecraft, but I learned about Aphra Behn and Hester Thrale and many more. And the episodes are blessedly short.
Try this episode: Bluestocking culture: how did women become writers?
- Reading Envy: A recent episode features “book speed dating,” in which the host reads the first 50 pages of a bunch of books and decides which ones to continue and which to get rid of. Brilliant!
- Lit Up: Interviews with totally important authors, like Nell Zink.
- No Resemblance: This podcast hasn’t even put out an episode yet, but check out the intro: writers submit short stories, which will be read by the host. This one’s local and I’m excited to see what kind of stuff comes in.
So, do you like stuff? Specifically podcasts? Tell me which ones!